HC Deb 23 October 1961 vol 646 cc560-1
37. Mr. Biggs-Davison

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement on the arrests, assaults and affronts committed against United Kingdom and British-protected subjects by United Nations troops during their operations in Katanga and the measures taken to obtain redress.

Mr. Heath

Four major cases have come to my notice in the last few weeks in Katanga. I am circulating details in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Biggs-Davison

Does not my right hon. Friend think it intolerable that thousands of pounds of British taxpayers' money should be subsidising U.N. troops who commit such outrages as the degrading imprisonment of Mr. Catchpole and the assault on Mrs. John Latz? What satisfaction are Her Majesty's Government getting from those responsible?

Mr. Heath

Mr. Catchpole is a Rhodesian citizen and we have been informed that he is taking this matter up, or has done so, with the Federal Government. If they wish us to take action they will no doubt get in contact with us. The question concerning the lady mentioned by my hon. Friend has been taken up by our consul in Elisabethville with the local United Nations authorities.

Following are the details: One British Subject, Mr. Catchpole, was mistakenly arrested as a mercenary in Elisabethville, but was later released in Leopoldville. An apology was offered to him by Colonel Egge, Chief of the United Nations Military Intelligence. I understand that Mr. Catchpole, who lives in Northern Rhodesia, has taken up with the Federal authorities the question of his arrest and treatment in the Congo. If the Federal Government wish any representations to be made, they will no doubt get in touch with Her Majesty's Government. A second British Subject, Captain Hillary, a Sabena Airlines pilot, was arrested at about the same time, also on suspicion of being a mercenary. He was also released in Leopoldville and has returned to this country. He has complained to Her Majestys Embassy about the treatment which he received whilst in custody. This matter is being pursued with the United Nations in New York by our Mission there. A Nigerian citizen has protested to Her Majesty's Consul in Elisabethville against thefts from his shop during recent hostilities in Katanga, and a British Subject, Mrs. Latz, has similarly protested to him against treatment she received from a Swedish officer in her shop. There have been a number of other cases in which the property of British Subjects has suffered, usually in a small way. Her Majesty's Consul in Elisabethville has already approached the local United Nations authorities about these cases.
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